A motion requesting the case against a 15-year-old homicide suspect’s trial be transferred to juvenile court was filed in Faulkner County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
Circuit Judge Troy B. Braswell Jr. will rule on the transfer on May 17.
Justin Staton is charged as an adult in the shooting deaths of Robert and Patricia Cogdell. The 66-year-olds had been Staton’s legal guardians.
Staton is charged with two counts each of capital murder, aggravated robbery, theft of property by threat and abuse of a corpse.
Attorneys Charlotte Aceituno Bogan and Gina Reynolds represent Staton.
Braswell canceled Staton’s jury trial after it was clear the defense would not be ready to proceed to trial on May 16, and ruled in favor of a prosecution motion to compel evidence.
Finkelstein filed the motion to compel discovery at 8:41 a.m. Tuesday, and Braswell ruled in favor of the motion during the hearing.
The motion states two recorded statements indicate there was evidence on Staton’s iPod, which was confirmed in conversation with the defendant’s sister.
"In a conversation with Justin Staton’s sister, she confirmed that the defendant’s grandfather has given the defendant’s IPod to his defense attorney’s," the motion reads.
The motion cites Arkansas Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 19.1, which states no lawyer should obstruct another party’s access to evidence nor should they destroy or conceal anything having "potential evidentiary value."
"Based upon these statements, there is sufficient probable cause to require the defendant’s to turn over the defendant’s IPod to the Conway Police Department so that they can determine if any relevant evidence is on said IPod," the motion reads.
Reynolds said she didn’t think the defense was in the wrong but that a CPD officer could follow her back to the office to retrieve the iPod for further investigation, noting it had been locked in storage and she had not yet viewed its contents.
"We took the iPod before it was evidence," she said.
Reynolds declined to comment due to "strategy and privilege" on why she hadn’t viewed the contents of the iPod at this point.
Braswell also ruled in favor of two motions filed by the defense: a motion for release of incarceration records and motion for release of probation records pertaining to defendant.
The defense’s motion for release of probation records refers to records kept within the Faulkner County Juvenile Probation Office.
Braswell noted it was a violation of Arkansas law to speak openly about juvenile matters.
"It never crossed your mind to file something ex parte or sealed," Braswell asked Reynolds, noting his frustration that Reynolds had made confidential information public record in her motion.
Braswell granted the request related to probation records, excluding parole records.
In its motion for release of incarceration records, the defense requests "his detention file, in its entirety, specifically including disciplinary actions taken, work assignments given, detainers lodged against Defendant and their disposition, education records, medical records, and mental health records to date, while incarcerated are potentially relevant and are necessary to the defense in preparation for the juvenile transfer hearing and the bifurcated trial."
(Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)